The Oak Forest Police Department warned the public on September 16, 2022 that the police department has received reports of a significant number of check washing cases. The police department is urging residents who are mailing checks to pay utilities or other bills, to monitor if and when those checks clear your bank account. If a check does not seem to have cleared in the normal amount of time, call or contact the company/person that it was issued to. See if that check has been received by the party and, if not, notify your financial institution that your check may have been stolen.
Check washing is criminal scheme when a check is washed by stripping the information that you have written or printed on the check, including name, amount, and dates. The check is then written with new information and issued to another party, typically in large sums. The check is then cashed to criminals who able to fraudulently obtain control of your money without authorization.
Currently, Oak Forest Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are working on the cases reported. Victims of this type of crime are asked to provide law enforcement agencies with information that pinpoints, who sent the check; the date, time, and location regarding the checks and bills that were mailed; when the checks were cashed, and who is on record cashing the check.
Victims are advised please report check-washing crime to the Oak Forest Police Department immediately upon discovery, and to provide the police department with a copy of the cashed check, if possible.